28 February 2021

So It's The End of February


For all it's a short month, it will be an expensive one. Last summer we found that our AC unit was rusting from the inside. We were told it had about 5 more seasons so we figured we could replace it at our leisure. Well, last week we realized that our 2 stage furnace wasn't kicking into the second stage. Out comes the repairman who gives us a new thermostat thinking that was the problem. It wasn't. He comes out again and says that the repair/replace of the bad board will be $1100. The furnace is 20 years old. The Husband and I decided to replace the furnace and AC. Can we say $9000? Yep. That hurts. I asked if they can throw in an installed whole hose humidifier too. We got the whole thing installed a day before the sub-zero weather hit us. It was excellent timing!

I've been making more donation quilts. I use up pieces and bits of batting for these. When I use a whole batting in a quilt I save the plastic bag. Then when I trim the quilt, I put the trimmed pieces in the bag. When there are enough there I make frankenbatts. For the most part I use an 80/20 batting but I will occasionally use 100% cotton or wool. That is why I save the bag: I can tell at a glance what batting the pieces are from. This batch of quilts has a frankenbatt, two polyester battings (ugh, not a fan) and one has two layers of washed flannel sheets.

For hand work I've been knitting a border onto the blanket made from leftover sock yarn. It's tedious because the black yarn and my eyesight are not a good combo. I have been staying quite warm under this as I knit. It is lightweight because of the sock yarn, but it is also warm because the sock yarn has a lot of wool in it. When the furnace was down, this was the perfect thing to work on.

08 January 2021

Grandson's New Quilt

 My oldest Grandson is getting a new quilt on his next birthday. He will be 3 and needs a big boy quilt rather than the baby quilt he got when he was born. He loves dinosaurs and what young lad doesn't? I found this wonderful digitally printed panel of blocks. I cut them out and bordered the blocks log cabin-style. It's quilted with a free motion ferny type design.



01 January 2021

Bears! As in Teddy



I have had this pattern for so many years I’ve lost count. Just looking at the price of it, you can tell it is an old pattern. It’s been used so much I made a duplicate pattern from woven interfacing. Like the picture, I’ve made fuzzy ones and smooth ones; this time it was leftover chenille from some Christmas sewing (a bathrobe for myself).


Piles of bear parts littered the top of my sewing cabinet. A combination of clips and straight pins was helpful in sewing the pieces together. 

I used a bit of gray felt for the nose and embroidered the eyes with perle cotton to make them safe for the little ones. Separating the layers and then pulling it into bits makes leftover polyester batting a useful stuffing. 


The bear in the center needs a bit more stuffing in his belly but all in all Cuteness Overload!  

31 December 2020

Quiet Christmas and New Year's Eve 2020

 

It's been quiet around here. The Husband and I are still hunkered down and only going to the grocery store, the library and doing the occasional curbside restaurant pickup. I don't know about you but I'm running out of innovative things to cook that The Husband will eat. I've started baking bread again because it gives me something to do.

You would think a quilter would have a lot to do and, yes, I have. I have made and finished four Project Linus quilts and six Quilts of Valor quilts since March. There are two more smallish quilts to quilt and a third ready to baste. I think I'm bored and I want to go outside. But outside is cold, slick and windy. Not a place for me right now.

I now have five more quilts to quilt. Five! I've been pulling fabrics from the shelves and making simple quilts to use for quilting practice. Except for the Delectable Mountains quilt; that one is a king sized quilt of many seams. It will be heavy. I finally figured out what I'm going to quilt on it.It's a very large meander with squiggles on each side of the line.  Since I have a sit down quilting machine a king size quilt is do-able but the quilting needs to be fairly simple since I have to push the mass of the quilt around. 

I will wish you all a quiet and healthy New Year.



10 December 2020

When it Rains, It Pours


What can I say? Yesterday was such a strange day! The husband and I received delivery of our Christmas present: a new refrigerator. We save up money during the year and then purchase a big ticket item for a Christmas present to each other. 

The delivery people wouldn't hook up the water line to the ice maker because it was the wrong kind of line. So the husband called a plumber who gave an estimate of $580. Wha??? really? The husband said I'll do it myself. Oh uh. 

I need to stop and backtrack a bit. The husband had to turn off the water to the fridge so we could unplug it. It leaked because the clamp on the line wasn't strong enough and so I was mopping water on my kitchen floor and using a stock pot to catch the water POURING out of the line. We finally got that end of the line clamped and went to the basement laundry room and found the other end of the line drip drip dripping onto the cement floor behind the washing machine. We picked up the old carpet piece (that was now destroyed), pulled out the washer and rigged up a Rube Goldberg contraption since the valve was all the way off but still dripping. Because the vent pipe was right there and couldn't move we had a milk carton with a cutout to catch the drips wired to another pipe. There was a hole in the bottom of the carton to release the water into a plastic pan that was screwed to a stud. There was a hole in the bottom of the pan that allowed the water to drip into a 5 gallon bucket. 

So that's the backstory. The husband spent a goodly portion of the day getting the water line to the ice maker hooked up. Fridge works. Ice maker works. All water drips stopped. Problem solved.

But wait! There's more. The husband ran the dishwasher. I went to the basement to retrieve a 6pack of soda and once again the laundry room floor was flooded. Worse this time. The drain to the kitchen backed up. Yuck. I couldn't deal with more water related issues so I turned off the light and went to bed.

My plan of attack this morning is to roll up that carpet and get it outside. Then pull the washer and dryer out from the wall and use the shop vac to suck up everything. I will need to mop the concrete floor after that. Meanwhile, the husband will be calling our local professional (indie) drain cleaner/rooter guy. Then everything gets put back into place after the drain is reamed out.

This isn't the first time. We have lived here for decades and have called for the drain clean out about 3 or 4 times. It comes from people putting the wrong things down the garbage disposal. I've learned, but others in the household haven't and this is the result.

29 November 2020

Quilts of Valor

I spent the summer months sewing quilt tops.Specifically for Quilts of Valor. There are certain guidelines that need to be followed, one being size. The quilt needs to fall within a size range and all of these are between 55" wide and 80" long. My goal was to use up the panels that I had accumulated. I not only sewed up the tops but in a couple of instances pieced the backings. All six quilts were quilted on my mid-arm quilting machine.

This first quilt was made with fabric I found at a thrift store. I cut it into blocks and added borders to bring it to size. It is 60"x80"

I had two of the same panels so I wanted to make the quilts a bit different to each other. You can see that I also had quite a bit of the same light fabric with the small stars on it so I used it in both quilts. Yes, that braid is pieced and not a pre-printed fabric. These two quilts measure 56x67"


This quilt uses quite a lot of the same fabric line from Stonehenge. It measures 55x67"

Here's another one that I used up the remaining fabric from the previous quilt.

 The center of this quilt was a fabric panel and some matching fabric that was given to me. The rest was pulled from my fabric stash. Lots of plaids in this one


11 November 2020

Donation Quilts

4 small children's quilts 
 
Since I was confined to the house in September and October due to horrific wildfire smoke and COVID-19, I made some donation quilts.

These are four little quilts for Project Linus.  

One was a simple pieced kit with an appliqued ribbon. I backed it with the included fabric and quilted on my machine.

One was a pre-printed panel that I backed with fleece and quilted on my machine.

Two were identical pre-quilted yardage of tote bags to cut out and sew up. The backing was cute so instead of making totes, I backed them with more fleece and then tied them. I tied one from the front and one from the back. These ended up being 34"x40". Too cute!